Sean Caisse Takes Second at Lake Erie; Wants One Better at NHIS 20-Year-Old Tries It All But Can't Pick Up Win at Lake Erie CONCORD, NC (July 10, 2006) -- Sean Caisse tapped the bumper of Mike Olsen. Sean Caisse got beside Mike Olsen. Sean...
Sean Caisse Takes Second at Lake Erie; Wants One Better at NHIS
20-Year-Old Tries It All But Can't Pick Up Win at Lake Erie
CONCORD, NC (July 10, 2006) -- Sean Caisse tapped the bumper of Mike Olsen. Sean Caisse got beside Mike Olsen. Sean Caisse raced side-by-side with Mike Olsen.
Sean Caisse did everything but throw the kitchen sink at Mike Olsen in the closing laps of Saturday night's Local Dodge Dealers 150 at Lake Erie Speedway (PA). In the end, Mike Olsen was the one who got the better of Sean Caisse, but the 20-year-old Caisse was still satisfied with finishing second after doing everything short of crashing the leader out of the win leading up to the checkered flag.
"It was a little unfortunate that we couldn't get the win because we had the dominant car all night long but at the same time running up there with Olsen was an awesome experience," said Caisse. ""I got on the radio after the race and said that I've never had that much fun on the racetrack before.
"I told Olsen after the race that he wore me out. I was doing everything that I could do. I could get a door under him in the corner but he would pull away off the corner because it's so hard to get forward bite down on the bottom there. All he needed to do was to get lined up off the corner and he was fine."
Olsen and Caisse put on a classic short-track battle for the lead in the final 10 laps of Saturday night's event at Lake Erie. The two had the best cars all night and it showed the most in the final stages. The two traded the lead during the entire race, but the final restart settled the race once and for all.
"That whole race was a setup for the last 10 to 15 laps. The way it worked out, whoever had the outside lane on the last restart was going to win the race. We were about a tenth quicker than Olsen but he had the best lane on that restart."
Caisse started off the 2006 season with two straight victories, but in recent weeks the luck hasn't been on the side of Caisse and the #44 Casella-sponsored Andy Santerre Motorsports team. A rough Stafford race and mechanical issues at Thompson last week dropped Caisse to fourth in points going into Lake Erie. The youngster did not panic at Lake Erie when trying to earn back the lost points, however. He stayed cool under pressure, even while racing for the lead. Caisse swapped paint with Olsen, a driver that he has looked up to since starting his career on the short tracks of New Hampshire, just like Olsen did years before.
"Finishing second to Mike Olsen means a lot because I've looked up to him for a long time now. He's one of the best drivers in the series. He raced me clean and I raced him clean. I'd much rather finish second and gain some respect than put a harder bumper to him and take him out for the win. I had a lot of people come up to me and tell me that they had a new amount of respect for me and that makes me feel really good.
"This race means a lot because for the last two weeks we had an eighth and 28th, so a top five was like a win for us. I knew we had a car to win but I wasn't going to do anything that would take us away from a good finish. Coming off a 28th place finish at Thompson, finishing second is pretty good."
Now that the runner-up finish at Lake Erie has brought his season back on track as he has now vaulted to third in BES points, Caisse is setting his sights on one of the most prestigious races on the BES schedule, the New England 125 at New Hampshire International Speedway on July 14th. Caisse has always had good cars at NHIS in his three previous BES starts at "The Magic Mile," but bad luck has always bit him. Now, with the help of team owner, crew chief, and three-time NHIS winner Andy Santerre, Caisse is among the favorites for victory this time at the 1.053-mile track but the young star isn't fazed by the pressure.
"I know I'm going to have a good car. Andy's teammate Mike Stefanik won the race last year and Andy's always run well there before. We're pretty excited about this race and I think we'll be tough to beat, but we're going to do the best we can.
"It's kind of a compliment when people consider us a favorite for the win. It shows that we have a top team and we can race competitively. It's a motivating factor when people in the sport look at you as a favorite to win. It makes you want to go out there and do your best to prove them right.
"Going into the season there were two races that I wanted to win. One was at Dover and the other is at Loudon. I'm so focused on that for this weekend. I've had some bad luck every time I go to Loudon. I usually have a fast car but whether it's a motor problem or a rear end problem, it doesn't end very well. I think if we can capitalize, we'll be fine. I really want to win the race, but I also know that a top-five finish will go a long way for the championship. I want to win so bad but I'm not going to jeopardize anything."
Catch Caisse in the New England 125 at New Hampshire International Speedway at 5:10pm ET on Friday July 14th. The race will be broadcast live and in high-definition on HDNet.